2021 Volume 31 Issue 2 Pages 125-131
Background: The frequency of laughter has been associated with cardiovascular disease and related biomarkers, but no previous studies have examined association between laughter and changes in blood pressure levels. We sought to identify temporal relationships between frequency of laughter in daily life and systolic and diastolic blood pressure changes in participants from 2010 through 2014.
Methods: Participants were 554 men and 887 women aged 40–74 years who answered self-administered questionnaire quantifying frequency of laughter at baseline. We measured participant blood pressure levels twice using automated sphygmomanometers for each year from 2010 to 2014. The associations between laughter and changes in blood pressure over time were analyzed using linear mixed-effect models.
Results: There was no significant difference in blood pressure according to frequency of laughter at baseline in either sex. Men with frequency of laughter 1 to 3 per month or almost never had significantly increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels over the 4-year period (time-dependent difference: 0.96 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI], −0.2 to 1.8; P = 0.05). Changes in blood pressure associated with infrequent laughter (ie, 1 to 3 per month or almost never) were evident in men without antihypertensive medication use over 4 years (0.94 mm Hg; 95% CI, −0.2 to 2.0; P = 0.09) and men who were current drinkers at baseline (1.29 mm Hg; 95% CI, −0.1 to 2.3; P = 0.04). No significant difference was found between frequency of laughter and systolic (0.23 mm Hg; 95% CI, −1.0 to 1.5; P = 0.72) and diastolic (−0.07 mm Hg; 95% CI, −0.8 to 0.7; P = 0.86) blood pressure changes in women.
Conclusions: Infrequent laughter was associated with long-term blood pressure increment among middle-aged men.